Agriculture, livestock & gardening on verge of collapse in Balochistan: Dr Tahir-ul-Qari

PAT Chairman Dr Muhammad Tahir-ul-Qadri has said that due to long running drought, Balochistan’s agriculture, livestock and gardening are on the verge of destruction. He said if the province is not declared calamity-hit and urgent steps taken to mitigate the situation, there is a fear of a vast human tragedy taking place along with migration of the people.

PAT Chairman expressed these views while talking to President and General Secretary of PAT Blochistan Sultan-ud-Din Shahwani and Abdul Hayee Zaib on telephone yesterday.

The President of PAT Balochistan briefed Dr Tahir-ul-Qadri about political, economic and social issues facing the province in great detail.

Dr Qadri said that those designating Gwadar port as the secret of Pakistan’s and half of the world’s progress should also extend the benefits of the progress of Gwadar to the farmers, workers and the poor people of Balochistan as well. He said that the biggest source of earning for majority of the people is agriculture, livestock and gardening and three of these departments are being hit by extended period of drought. He said that it is strange that the people of the province that has experienced terrorist activities and been a hub of conspiracies of foreign powers continue to suffer the worst of circumstances. He said that the Prime Minister and other responsible people are committing criminal negligence in this regard.

The PAT Chairman said that our demand is that the Province should be declared as calamity hit and a special package should be announced for the farmers. He said that funds need to be allocated for construction of small water reservoirs, adding that dams should be given a priority in the CPEC projects so that dangers of drought could be minimized and the people spared the attendant agonies. He said that trees are being cut and deforestation is underway due to drought with the result that hundreds of thousands of acres are becoming barren. He said that if the rights of the poor workers, farmers and people of Balochistan were not given to them, then terrorism and lawlessness will not end from the country.

Dr Qadri said that the CPEC project is for the people of Balochistan but Orange Line project of Rs. 250 billion is being constructed in Lahore. He said that the federation has not handed down a fear deal to Balochistan and the same treatment continues to this date. He said that the report of the Quetta Commission has been thrown into the dustbin. He said that the rulers were held responsible in the report but those so pinned down have the gall to hurl threats. He asked whether the people of Balochistan are not equal citizens of this country. He said that the nature of crimes committed by those who kill innocent people and those who commit negligence in securing their lives is similar, deserving the equal amount of punishment.

Dr Tahir-ul-Qadri asked the PAT Balochistan chapter to prepare feasibility studies of different projects including safe drinking water and establishment of educational institutions in the province. He said that PAT will play its part to serve the poor people on its self-help model.